Pity: Party of One

This was from a loooong time ago.


By Shannon Noni Selis


I walked into this restaurant called Choice and asked for a table. “Do you have a reservation?” inquired the maitre’d. I shook my head. “How many in your party?” the maitre’d asked with a disapproving eyebrow raised. “Just me,” I replied. I glanced around the restaurant. The sign above the dining room read “The Bourgeois Bistro.” There were families laughing and eating mac n cheese and pizza. In a quieter area I noticed couples having their wine and steak while holding hands across the candlelit tables. This seems like a pretty nice restaurant. It’s different to seat families in one section and couples in another, but that’s a brilliant idea, I thought.

I waited and waited. It seemed like years went by. I watched groups of people walking past me and be seated. Some were seated right away while others had to wait a little bit. My stomach growled. Will I…

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(from my blog participation at Tickets To:)

Cute socks are a thing. I don’t remember them being a ‘thing’ in the States, but I do remember seeing what I considered to be cute socks and buying them. Even if I don’t wear them because I lived in Florida and we don’t believe in socks for 10 months out of the year.

In Korea, however… cute socks are a BIG thing. And I LOVE IT! I have pretty much gotten rid of any pair of boring sock I brought with me and have happily replaced them with awesome socks. They have socks here that are a ‘pair’… where the picture is in half and you can put them together and make a face or something.


Another fantastic one tend to be some kind of animal or superhero on the heel which is the mouth. Like this Batman one:


And of course this is my favorite. Just look and laugh. They have it in weird Asian faces or ‘yellow hair’ people. If you’re lucky you’ll get Frankenstein or a Mummy. Ha!


This is a perfect gift for friends and family back home. They’re cheap at only 1,000-2,000won (less than $1) each. Until you buy 20 and then it adds up.



Living the Dream


We all want to be this or that when we grow up. In 5th grade I said I wanted to be a doctor that made people beautiful. … nope. Didn’t happen. Forgot about that dream within a month I bet.

I wanted to be Ariel or Belle. Obviously I cannot trade my legs for fins, or suddenly become tall, French, and into hairy men. But I knew that I wanted to be them. Almost every character from the cartoons I watched, I would impersonate. I taught myself to sing by listening to cartoon musicals and Andrew Lloyd Webber shows. I would make my voice like theirs.
It took a while for me to realize that this was called ‘voice acting.’ I loved to know that Jodi Benson was Ariel and I watched videos of her being coached through ‘Part of Your World.’ It astounded me when I realized that she was also ‘Thumbelina’. Then I started realizing other voices: Wendy is Alice. Ms. Swan is Trisha Takanawa is Lois Griffin.

I wanted that. I still want that. My new goal is to be a Disney princess for Seth McFarlane. I have been introduced to other animated shows recently, only to discover that a character voice I have done since forever is almost identical to the character I’m watching now. I couldn’t decide if I was disappointed or elated.

Anyway, I’m in South Korea now. I have auditioned online for voice over gigs for almost 2 years. I have gotten a few of them, but not that many. Then one day on Craigslist Seoul, I saw an ad for auditions for voice actors. I booked myself into the audition. The day before, I got a cold. I sounded awful. But I wasn’t going to miss the audition. I went and they put me into a booth. My very first time in a booth. They adjusted the speaker into my face, I had a screen in front of me to see the other actors, and a script about 15 pages long. Nervous much? Totally. I subtly gargled some water to clear my throat only to be told, “Did you gargle warm water? Is everything okay?” DAMNIT. The mic was on.

I read like a champ. The first actor and I read, then he left, and they had me stay. I read with the second actor, he left, and they had me stay. I read with a third actor and then on my own. They told me they would let me know how it went.

I have been working SO much since then. I go all over Seoul into studios to read whatever the heck they give me. Educational scripts, presentation videos, a video game (!!!!), and finally a commercial.

I am forever thankful for this opportunity to work here and build my skills and experience in Seoul.

Seth, it’s on.

10% of the world…

That’s how many places I have been to..

I have visited 21 countries (24 hours or longer) and stayed in 4 other countries’ airports.

1. USA

2. Mexico

3. Bahamas

4. Jamaica

5. Puerto Rico

6. England

7. Spain

8. Italy

9. France

10. Netherlands

11. Belgium

12. Greece

13. Israel

14. Thailand

15. Japan

16. Hong Kong

17. Malaysia

18. Philippines

19. South Korea

20. Maldives

21. South Africa


Germany, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Singapore

I am so proud of my accomplishments – but I am also very disappointed that it hasn’t been more. I have not yet been to any South American countries and have only been to a small portion of Europe and Asia. There’s still Africa too.

My bucket list of countries:

Finland, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Egypt, Turkey, Taiwan, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Indonesia, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and more. I just can’t think of them all because I’m supposed to be teaching right now. Oops.

What a shmuck!

I have not been updating this blog. I am such a shmuck. Not that I really have followers or anything, but I will probably be posting a lot of updates over the next couple of weeks.

At least that is what I am telling myself.

Honestly, I have been neglecting my computer. I feel like I haven’t given it a good cleaning (internal or external) in a while. I have barely even turned it on, except to do some voice recording. Which will be a post in itself. So much has changed and I have not told the world about it. Because the world MUST know about my situation.

Here’s a mini preview of what is to come:
My trip to Malaysia (back in February)
My mom’s visit to Korea (back in June)
My changing of the job (again)
My voiceover career (finaaalllyy)
Where I am and What I do
My Lil Secret (that isn’t really a secret I guess..)
My Weight Loss! (WHAT!!!)


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA – Because knowing what kind of camera I use it vital?

Resolutions 2015: Mid May Update

1. I want to lose weight.

Resolution: Lose 15lbs.

UPDATE- – – I think I have lost some weight. The heaviest I was at was 75kg (about 165lbs). My average is about 73 kg (about 160lbs). The last time I weighed myself I was at 70.6kg (about 155lbs). When I wrote this, I was thinking of how much to lose, not really a goal weight. I’m changing it to goal weight now. I want to be no more than 140lbs (About 63.5 kg). I have a ways to go, but I will not allow myself to get back up to 165 again. The last time I weighed myself was on my birthday – – I will go find a scale today and see again.

2. Get laid. ..I will get laid at least 20 times – it counts even if it’s with the same person. No need being a slut about it. I’m 28, not 22.
UPDATE – – – Yes. This is a much better year than last year. Numbers aren’t needed.

3. Visit 2 new countries again! I would still like to visit Taiwan this year, my goal is Malaysia.
UPDATE – – – 1 down, 1 to go!! Malaysia was visited in February. I am going to Japan again this weekend with my mother, but it’s still early enough to visit another country!!

4. VISIT GARY in KL!! (gary – this WILL happen)
UPDATE – – it did happen! GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!

5. Save 10K – something that is not as easy to do in the US. It’s pretty simple for people working in Korea. When my flight and housing are paid for, I get a pension, and hopefully make a few $ on the side by selling food and what not… this should be easy.
UPDATE — it’s not as easy. I had two medical procedures this year already that has cost me nearly $1,000 USD. I also missed a market (which makes me a few hundred extra) and haven’t done any massages. My side business is seriously lacking. Hopefully I can start massages again soon though and make that dough!! On the bright side, I found out I have 3kUSD already saved thanks to that pension plan!!

To Change

Right, well.. that didn’t last very long.

After all the excitement and feel good about re-signing with my school, my school and I came to agreement last month that I would move on. I was not loving the changes in the school and the school was trying to change me. So, we talked about it often and decided to get a divorce, so to speak.

I’m okay with it, they’re okay with it. It’s an amicable parting. I get severance and my flight from my previous contract. They’re helping me in many ways to move and found a replacement almost immediately.

So next week is my last week. I will train the new teachers and help them to lesson plan a bit.

I will miss some of my students and will rejoice at not seeing others.

The new school update will come shortly.

Korean Kulture: Women in Society

I am not ignorant enough to think that what one person says represents all of their culture’s thinking. However, I have to say that this one took me by surprise when it probably shouldn’t have.


For a monthly speaking test topic, I asked my students this:\

The World Cup and the Olympics are international sports competitions that are played only every 4 years. Do you think that other types of world competitions should be held? Which ones and how often? When you thought about this, did you consider all of the countries that could participate? Would it be fair? 


Most of the students brought up other sports like ‘Jump Roping’ or ‘Padminton’ (apparently this is a combo of ping pong and badminton?!). One boy said there shouldn’t be any more competitions because most countries can’t find one common way to compete, and ‘also, it is very expensive.’ 


What shocked me was when one of my more outspoken girl students said

“There should be a beauty competition held every 2 years.” She supported this by saying that the sports competitions are for men. Women are not strong enough to play in these sports. They should be focusing on beauty. Men do not have to work on being beautiful like women. It would be fair for all countries to participate in this competition because there are beautiful women from every country. 

—That last statement was the only one I could agree with. —

After she finished her speech, I asked her if she had ever heard of the Miss Universe contest. She hadn’t. So I explained it to her and she used her most common phrase: “Ohhh. Deally, teachah!?” (oh really, teacher?)

In American society, women have fought and struggled to be recognized in work places and sports competitions as an equal to our male counterparts. We are constantly being pulled by media about what is beautiful and what is not. We have come to accept that large is beautiful in its own right. We have come from appreciating stick figures to curves. But we still alter our images to achieve what our ‘inner’ beauty. Maybe it’s not as exaggerated as an airbrush or fake tan or ‘sparkling’ the eye.. but we use filters still to get the right lighting. That’s innocent enough. Yet somehow, we have come to figure out the secret to photoshopping real life. We angle the phone cameras down so nobody will notice our double chin. We do a side view to avoid getting heat about that pimple on our cheek. Suddenly our eyes are wide and innocent looking. There’s this full body pose that every girl is trying to perfect:

You stand slightly angled inward (to avoid having your muffin top showing), one knee (typically the one closest to the camera) is bent just enough that your heel is off the ground (to accentuate your leg and make your thigh and butt look slimmer), your outer hand lays on your waist (again to hide any unsightly flab), then your upper body is twisted to face the camera (to show off your slim waistline and padded bust), your head is also angled in or out (depending on where you stand) and the smile is wide with those unnaturally pearly whites gleaming against that bright pink shiny lipgloss. 

These angles and self conscious alterations are so simple and small that you may not realize you’re doing it. Or maybe you do but choose to pretend that this pose is completely natural. 

10 years ago, I graduated high school. We used disposable cameras for prom. We used 35mm cameras where the film would take anywhere from 1 hour – 48 hours to be developed. If you didn’t like the picture, you could choose not to keep it. But even those awkward angles and embarrassing faces we made were kept. Maybe they weren’t put in the album or scrapbook, but they were put into the envelope that you got your pictures in..and eventually put into a box. Cameras were meant to capture that natural beauty of people. What happened to those candid moments?

John Mayer’s “Comfortable” has a line that always hits me: “She poses for pictures that aren’t being taken.”

It’s true: I have found myself posing for pictures that aren’t being taken. But more than not, I find that I have to pose for the pictures being taken. I’m not happy with my body image at the moment, and I’m working on improving it.. but I don’t think people would be so obsessed with their image if they didn’t have to look at it so often. 


To come back to the original point, if you’ve never been to South Korea..they will put your selfie to shame. Girls walk around with hand mirrors and mirrors on their phones. They pose for those pictures that aren’t being taken. They strive to live up to the ‘cute’ look. 



Kitten Crisis Part 2: Adopted

She has been adopted! A couple from an area north of Seoul saw the video and agreed to adopt her. I met with them on July 4th in Seoul and gave her to them along with everything that belonged to her.

It turns out this couple is also from Orlando! They’re way younger than I am and from a different part of the city.. but hey – small world!

So she’s gone but her hair still haunts my apartment. Every day I lint roll and vacuum. Hopefully her hair will be gone within another week. Most of it is at this point, but my fresh laundry seems to disagree. Especially that black shirt. Yesterday someone asked if I had a pet. When I asked why, they pointed at my black pants … covered in cat hair. #smh.

Kitten for Adoption

Maow is a sweet angel of a kitten. She likes to play, eat, eat, eat, sleep, eat, play, and cuddle. She gives endless kisses in the morning. She is soft and sweet and small. She needs to be adopted or put into foster care. Please help if you can.


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